Morning Train

10 04 2017

Madison, Wisconsin

Where were you and what were you doing when you first heard about the concept of Ebonics?

Me?  November 1995.  As it happened, I was on the MissingLink, one morning that month, on my way to school.  I had the most recent dead tree and ink edition of The Spotlight in my bookbag, and I figure I’d catch up on some real news.  One of the smaller articles was about a gaggle of black studies profs demanding that “black vernacular dialect,” as the concept was introduced, should be normalized.  Though back in ’95, “normalized” wasn’t really a word, and neither was “problematic.”  The very idea of a thing being a thing wasn’t a thing and wouldn’t be a thing for about another twenty years.  Later in the article, it quoted the pseudo-academics as they dropped a word that I heard about for the very first time:  Ebonics.

I thought to myself:  “Nobody will ever take this shit seriously.”

More than a year later, December 1996, the Oakland School District board passes a resolution along the same lines.  Off to the races.

Turns out people actually did “take this shit seriously.”  Thankfully, the only kind of people that do are problacktards, pathological altruists, cucks, panderers, wannabe Michelle Pfeiffers, rappers, Can’t Teach for America program participants.  Everyone else treats the concept somewhere between pejorative and ridicule.

So, when I read this, I hope none of you are thinking this is a brand new thing.  It’s more than half as old as I am, and I would not be surprised if a few of you told me that this actually started in the late ’60s.





8 responses

10 04 2017
Alex the Goon

Earlier known record is 1980 (“Oh stewardess, I speak jive.”) Had it started in the 60s, there would’ve been even more Hidden Figgers in NASA than popularly believed.

10 04 2017
egregious philbin

forced integration was in full swing from fall 1968 on in central IL – we young whites quickly learned how to talk “black” (yo, we learnt ebonics in like a monf, yo!) by junior high some of us wrote papers on it, making fun of it with big words (e.g., “a treatise on verbal interjectionary patterns of subsaharan youth” – & getting A’s on them!) b/c it was still OK to make fun of through the 70s up till the early 80s when nascent PC tumor cells began replicating.

a brief window of time existed when one was allowed to notice blacktalk™ AND allowed to make fun of it! dem be de golden years of 1970 froo 1980. many callow friends of my youth would not be caught dead saying “yo mama lef da window open las night” now – but they sure said it back then!

brainwashed by PC & virtue signaling, they are “enlightened” (dey think dey be woke, but dey be rekt, boiee).

10 04 2017
David In TN

I was a college freshman in the fall of 1968. The official line then was blacks “were just as good as white people.” That fall blacks started appearing in large numbers on TV shows and commercials, usually shown as middle class types.

Also, the word “Negro” was not supposed to be used anymore. “Blacks” came into vogue as what you were supposed to call them.

About that time, I saw a newspaper cartoon in which a white man asks a black man, “Just what are you people calling yourselves nowadays?”

Two decades later, they were demanding to be called “African Americans.”

10 04 2017

I know one word of Ebonics– Sheeeeiiiittt!

11 04 2017
11 04 2017
John Vawter

I guess I first heard the concept around 1990, it was called BVE (Black Vernacular English). At that time I was studying to get a teaching credential (which I abandoned), and it was presented as one of the issues that teachers would face in the classroom. No sort of special instruction or accommodation was being recommended though, so the whole issue wasn’t terribly controversial yet.

11 04 2017

Yes, there was a song reference contained.

13 04 2017

I was in Madison, Wisconsin, at the intersection of Wilson, Butler, and King streets. Late ’80s.

It's your dime, spill it. And also...NO TROLLS ALLOWED~!

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